(Photo Credit Architectural Digest)
The last few months have been tough for us all in many ways. On a superficial level one of the things that friends have talked about missing most is a trip to the spa. With that in mind I thought it would be fun to look at a few inexpensive ways in which you can give your own bathroom the feel of a home spa without spending a fortune.
Remove everything apart from the fixtures & fittings from the bathroom. Empty bathroom cupboards & cabinets. Use up or throw away any old, or out of date products & toiletries & clean cupboards thoroughly. Send any towels et al that are looking grey to the charity shop for recycling & disguard anything that’s past it’s best, eg, dusty old bathroom scales, part burned candles etc.
Painting (not essential!)
If you’re not averse to a bit of DIY & fancy a change of décor, now is a good time to freshen up the walls & ceiling with a new coat of paint. As many bathrooms have a fair amount of tiled wall space the amount of painting required may be minimal. If DIY’s not your thing, skip this step & just give everything a good clean.
Give everything a really good scrub, paying particular attention to limescale on taps, water stained tiles & grubby grout (if your grout is very discoloured there are products available such as Grout Rescue Colour & Seal, £21 from Universal Seal which can be painted over existing grout lines to give very pleasing results). Before you do this clean tiles with limescale remover to remove water marks (do take care as such products can damage grout so don’t spray it ‘willy nilly’!), spray on a cloth/non scratch scourer apply to tiles & clean.
Now The Fun Starts
I always try to choose natural materials, not only do they look good & bring an air of calm neutrality (particularly important in a space where you’re hoping to find the time to relax) but obviously they’re far more environmentally friendly. In a bathroom I’d recommend:
Wood (particularly bamboo)
Rattan (wicker is less expensive)
Stone or Marble
- Fill a glass jar with inexpensive (white) bath salts (not the lurid coloured ones your Granny used to have). We love Dr Salts Therapeutic Solutions in Lavender & Lemongrass, £7 from Waitrose for 1 kg. They’ll last for ages.
- Buy candles with natural fragrances eg, #StEval 'Bay & Rosemary' or 'Tranquility' from their Earth & Sky range, £11.45 or #Aveda’s 'Rosemary & Mint', £30, if glass better suits your scheme than stoneware. Avoid candles in tins as they can become very hot & damage painted/polished surfaces.
-Treat yourself to come new toiletries & cosmetics. Display the prettiest on a tray & position on a shelf, window sill, or cabinet top.
- If you have sufficient space add a plant or two. Houseplants have made something of a come back in recent years and add a lovely natural touch to your space. Widely available from garden centres, supermarkets & DIY stores, choose something appropriately sized & sit in a simple white planter. Good, inexpensive choices include Zamioculca Zamiifolia or Chamaedorea Elegans & they’re both robust enough to stand a quick hose off under the shower should they become dusty!
- Ceramic planters are available from homewares stores or garden centres. Homebase have a good selection from just a couple of pounds.
- A white Phalaenopsis Orchid adds a touch of sophistication to any scheme. I use them throughout the house then retire them to the boot room when they’ve finished flowering. If you continue to feed & water them they’ll flower again in a few weeks. You can buy some which are extremely expensive but I snap them up when they’re on offer in Tesco & usually cost less then £10 and can be relied upon to flower for at least 2 months at a time.
A group of small glass vases makes an attractive & inexpensive display. Our Botanical vases are perfect for a small space & at only £12.95 for a pair you can buy a few & mix and match them throughout the house. Available in Clear or Green recycled glass they’re pretty enough to stand on their own or can be used to display a few flowers from your garden or grasses from your dog walk, it’s so calming to bring a little nature inside.
Invest in some storage baskets to keep ‘his’ & ‘hers’ toiletries separate in a bathroom cupboard. These also make cleaning easier as they can be simply lifted out for cleaning. I try to avoid plastic where (usually more attractive) options exist. I love these fabric boxes from #SeaTeam are very well priced at £13.99 for two. However, if you’re happy to splash out I don’t think you can beat rattan for a truly sophisticated look. These from #OKA are gorgeous and cost £85.
Store cotton wool balls, cotton buds in glass storage jars & display on a rattan tray (Rattan Serving Tray below £26.99, Amazon). Use plain (drinking) glasses to store make up brushes & tweezers. Complete the look with a rattan or bamboo tissue box cover.
- Finally, treat yourself to some new fluffy towels, a new bath mat and fluffy bathrobe. I always choose white for it’s clean & fresh appearance. If you prefer a colour I would recommend a neutral shade (grey, taupe etc) & avoid bright colours & patterns. These 700 gsm (fairly heavy) towels from Matalan are very good & unbelievably cheap - £15 for a bath sheet – order a couple, you’ll be delighted with the quality & the price! Pack of 12 face cloths (600gsm) £10.14 & Royal Egyptian Luxury bath mat £3.54 are both amazing value from Absolute Home Textiles.
For the true feel of a spa, roll face cloths & display in trays, baskets or on a shelf as we’ve done here:
Luxury white bathrobe in 100% Turkish Terry Cotton a complete steal at £34.49 from Absolute Home Textiles. Please avoid the (I always worry, rather flammable) microfibre options – they are cheaper (because they’re made from plastic) but you’ll be so glad you went for the natural option I promise!
All you need to do now is light a candle, run a bath, pour a glass of wine & enjoy a long soak whilst admiring your handiwork...
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